Mark Caserta: Obamacare repeal and replace simply delayed

1 Apr

 

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Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Mar 31, 2017

 

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Last week’s charade in the House of Representatives confirmed the level of ineptitude on Capitol Hill. For the GOP to have had eight years to reach consensus on a viable healthcare alternative to Obamacare and to be so unprepared is embarrassing.

But “let not your heart be troubled.” Obamacare will eventually be eliminated and replaced with a sustainable healthcare bill that will be affordable for all Americans.

However, what we saw legislatively last week was exactly what we “didn’t” see during the Obama administration – legitimate legislative debate on the content of a proposed healthcare initiative.

Remember, in 2010, when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at a legislative conference and said, “We have to pass the bill,” speaking of the Affordable Care Act, “so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Well, it turns out the intended lack of transparency shrouded the multitude of liberal lies about Obama’s signature healthcare law and facilitated its passage.

The GOP establishment, while debilitatingly dimwitted along the way, debated, argued and disagreed on provisions of the American Healthcare Act and ultimately couldn’t agree on the initial piece of legislation. I’m truly encouraged that true conservatives ultimately blocked a potentially flawed bill.

Finally, Americans receive some representation.

But that’s not what you’ll hear from liberal Democrats or the mainstream media. And frankly, the Democrat’s lack of genuine concern for the uninsured is very telling. Obamacare is in a death spiral and liberals seemingly couldn’t care less what happens to the average American, as long as they “win one for Obama.”

So, here’s what we can expect moving forward.

Successfully rewriting one-fifth of the economy will take time, but I assure you the House will eventually have the votes needed to pass a viable healthcare bill, probably in 2017. They don’t want to be unemployed the next election cycle. Subsequently, it will move on to the Senate, where it could be further amended.

But Republican Senators lack the 60 votes needed to pass any sort of healthcare legislation, no matter how good it is. They must resort to a process known as “reconciliation,” which requires only a majority vote and negates a Democrat filibuster. This is the legislative procedure Democrats used to pass portions of Obamacare.

An additional hurdle the GOP must clear is the “Byrd Rule,” named after our beloved Robert C. Byrd. As part of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Byrd Rule states that reconciliation can only be used on legislation that impacts the federal deficit.

Now, clearly this is budgetary in nature, but if it rises to the level of debate in the Senate that I expect, the presiding officer of the Senate, the vice president of the United States, has the final word on what’s permissible on reconciliation and what’s not.

So, despite liberal Democrats presenting this as an Obamacare victory, it necessarily delayed the inevitable.

As part of making America great again, Donald Trump will ensure every American has access to affordable healthcare.

Just as he promised.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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